SEASONAL PRODUCE - Rhubarb

 

Key information

Colour: Pink stalks with bright green leaves

In season: March – June

Grow me: Rhubarb can be grown in a ‘forced’ or natural way. Forced rhubarb is kept covered up in the dark, producing pale stalks that grow quickly as the plant searches for light. This means it can be harvested a month earlier than natural rhubarb, which is in season from March to June. Rhubarb plants are very large, with big leaves that hide the pink stalks.

Did you know?

  • Although it’s most often cooked with sugar to use in sweet treats and desserts, rhubarb is actually a vegetable and its natural flavour is very sour.
  • While the stalks can be delicious, the leaves are poisonous and should never be eaten.
  • Like sugar, silk, or coffee, rhubarb was one of the most expensive commodities bought and sold in Britain in the 1600s. The vegetable used to be imported from all the way from Asia, where it was used as a medicine.

Ideas garden

Remember to ask an adult's permission before experimenting with any rhubarb ideas!

Get creative

Rhubarb can be used as a natural dye, which is great for adding a colour to your eggs during Easter! Make sure you boil your eggs first, or you won’t be able to eat your colourful creations afterwards.

After cutting up and simmering the rhubarb for several minutes, strain it and keep the water, which will now have a warm, orange to pink shade. Wait for the water to cool down, and gently add your eggs, making sure they are submerged. Keep them in the water for a night and wake up to coloured eggs!

(Don’t forget to wear gloves when you put your eggs in, or you might end up with pink fingers!)

Get cooking

How about adding rhubarb to your favourite crumble or fruit pie recipe? The added sour tang will make any pudding pop! Or, for the more adventurous, try roasting rhubarb in honey to create a unique side dish to accompany a savoury main. Rhubarb is also delicious stewed with sugar and a splash of water to make a rhubarb sauce or jam. If you want to experiment with its unique flavour, why don’t you try this healthy rhubarb and granola recipe?

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